Big Idea: Jesus openly proclaimed who He was and why He came, and asked some to keep it a secret. This curious pattern of proclamation and keeping secrets is part of God’s larger plan to turn toward Jerusalem at the right time. Jesus transitioned once his identity and mission were established.
I. “The Messianic Secret”
The curious tendency of Jesus to tell people not to tell others what He was openly proclaiming.
B. The pattern (Mark 1:23-28, 32-34; 5:41-43; Matthew 16:20)
C. Why? (Matthew 10:1, John 7:1-4, Luke 4:28-30, Matthew 26:8)
II. Who is this Jesus? (Matthew 16:13-20)
A. Who do they say that I am?
B. Who do you say that I am?
C. Peter’s confession
D. Where is the discussion today? Why is Jesus the only way?
III. Turning toward suffering (Matthew 16:21-23)
From that time on he began to prepare them for the path of suffering and death.
1) If Jesus came to proclaim who He is, why would He tell anyone to keep it a secret? Why would the missionaries be told to not proclaim the good news on a missionary trip? (Acts 16:6-7)
2) What do you think about Jesus speaking directly with demons? Do demons still exist today? Are they “behind every bush” or almost absent in history?
3) If you are nice enough, will everyone like you? Why or why not? If you have a wonderful message, will people accept you?
4) Why did so many people want to kill Jesus? Why does Jesus inspire so much heated and often violent opposition?
5) Why do you suppose Peter’s confession was a turning point? Why would that matter to Jesus?
6) What is the most common answer on the street to the question of who Jesus is?
7) How is Jesus leading in your life to prepare you for the next stage of the journey?